JAMES WILLIAM HALL
THE LIFE of my FATHER
by GRACE HALL BENNETT 1 FEBRUARY, 1995
My Father was born on 14 February, 1880 in Bierley Lane near Bradford, Yorkshire, England. He was the son of John Hall and Mary Ellen Hall. His Father was born 19 May, 1861 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. He Died on 23 November, 1924 in Winter Quarters, Utah. His Mother was born 17 March, 1862 in Bierley Lane, Yorkshire, England. She died 30 August, 1930 in Castle Gate, Utah.
He really did not have as much education as a man should have. He first attended school in Bierley Lane. As all other English Children, my Father started school at the age of five. He was a small child for his age, so he could not do the things other children did. His family moved so he was forced to go to school at another place. This school was called Heartshead Moorside School. He did not go to this school long as the family moved again, so he finished up in the Higham school which is near Barnsley.
My Father, although small in size was always full of fun and tried many pranks that he received punishment for from the teacher. I can always remember one story my father told me about when he was a young boy. One morning my father and a friend of his decided that it would be fun to put frogs in all the ink wells. So they caught some pollywogs and put them in nearly every ink well in the room. When the girls went to write with the ink they would jab the pen point into the pollywog. The girls immediately told the teacher and my father and his friend were severely punished for such an act. At an other time he put a snake in the closet. Finally after dinner the snake came out. All of the girls screamed and jumped on their desks. The teacher easily found out who had put the snake there and my father was again severely punished for such an act. These are only two of the many stories that my father has told me about his school life.
Every year some men would come to the school and give them an examination. This examination was given to find to find out what day the examination was going to be given in the next village so they could take it there. My father passed very high examinations two or three times.
When he was ten years of age he started to work half of the day in a mill (woolen mill) and the other half day he went to school. This was quite bad because he did not get the schooling he should have had.
After my father had finished all of the schooling he ever received, he started to work in a mine all the time. He had to work hard and this made him so that he is not as tall as he should be. The money he earned helped the family very much. Of course, at the same time he was working in the mine he had a good time in the evenings. He and his friends would go to shows and dances as well as to parties.
When he had grown to young manhood he decided he would go to Australia to earn him a better living, or as many have said, "To get rich in Australia". His parents had already joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they wanted him to come to Utah, so they persuaded my father to come to America instead. He started for America on 25 August, 1904. He sailed on the ship called the "Republic", of the White Star Line. He had a very nice trip. He was never sick once. He landed in Boston, Massachusetts on 2 September, 1904. From there he came by train to Utah. When he arrived in Utah, he heard that Winter Quarters was the best place in which to mine so my father went to Winter Quarters to work.
My father had higher ambitions than just digging coal in a coal mine. He decided to take a correspondence course, and learn to be a foreman in the mine. He started this course but did not finish it because he changed his mind and went to Salt Lake City instead. But before he left Winter Quarters he had earned enough money to send for his father to come to Utah. He and his father worked hard together an between them they earned enough money to bring the rest of the family here to America.
In Salt Lake City, he tried many different positions but he did not like any of them. He worked in a florist shop, and many other places such as Mountain Fuel Company and the Utah Oil Refinery. He then served his apprenticeship and became a boiler-maker. When he had served his apprenticeship he started to work for railroad companies. The work on this type of business is not steady all year, unless you have the seniority in the position so he worked for three or four railroads.
He was confirmed on the 31 March, 1912 by Andrew G. Bowman. He was baptized by Alvin A. Beesley. On 9 December, 1912 he was ordained a Priest by William Leatham. He was ordained an Elder on 3 January, 1915 by Ira B. Cannon. On 28 February, 1937 he was ordained a High Priest by William P. Clayton.
Somewhere around 1912 romance came into his life. He met Eleda M. Nordquist during that year and on 4 June, 1918 he married her in the Salt Lake Temple. He was married by Bishop Christensen. For their honeymoon they decided to go to California. They spent a very lovely two weeks together and then came back to Salt Lake to live. My father was working in Salt Lake City at that time.
I was the first child born into the family. I was born on 6 May, 1919 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They hardly understood where I got my red hair from as my father had brown hair at this time and my mother also had brown hair. I was very small in size, only weighing four and a half pounds at birth. They named me Grace. My brother was the second child. He was born 8 June, 1922, in Winter Quarters, Utah. He was medium sized baby weighing eight pounds at birth. My father was working in a mine again at the time he was born.
In November of 1923 he again moved. This time he moved to Provo where he has lived ever since. He had obtained a position in the Provo railroad shops. He worked at the shops until the depression came along. He was out of work for nearly two years before he was able to find a job this time. He became worried, but he finally got a job doing janitor work in the City and County Building. This led to many other jobs and at last he was able to obtain work with the State Highway Department. This, he kept until a year ago when the shops here in Provo called him to come back to work. Again he was laid off in the fall of last year, and only recently regained it again.
When we moved to the Bonneville Ward, my father's desire, to do things in the Church, was greatly increased. He was first made a supervisor of a group of Deacons. This work took a lot of his spare time. He prepared his lessons for Priesthood meeting, attended nearly every meeting, all meetings except when he was away from home, and enjoyed working with these boys very much. He helped to improve these boys' lives as much as possible. On 28 February, 1937 he was ordained a High Priest. This made him even stricter in his connection with the Church principals than he had been before, and he enjoy attending Church meetings even more. In the Fall of 1937, he was asked by the Bishop of our Ward to take over the Church Security program for our Church. He accepted this position and has given much of his time to this work. This new position takes nearly all of his free hours away from home.
One of the hobbies that my father has enjoyed to a great extent is his first aid classes. He first became interested in first aid work while he was working in the mines in Carbon County. When we moved to Provo, he was very happy indeed to find the shops taught first aid classes also. He enrolled in these courses, and soon had his American Red Cross Pin for first aid. He was then asked to be assistant scout master in the Fifth Ward. The boys in the Fifth Ward started passing first aid tests under the supervision of my father. As the years rolled slowly by he gradually helped the boys with their firs aid more and more, until finally he was made the Stake Leader for first aid for boy scouts. He then started teaching adult classes in this type of work. He just recently held one of these classes in the Provo High School. He is hoping that he will teach many more classes of this kind in the future. He taught first aid classes in every city through out Utah County.
There is one thing in Church work that my father is particularly interested in. He likes genealogy more than nearly anything else. He constantly tries to find new names to do work for in the Temple. He goes through the Temple every chance he gets and tries to do all he can in this type of work. He has always enjoyed this work ever since he once got started working in it.